(Reposted with permission from http://mindlesszombiestudios.com/content/gamergate-davids-story )
You know the kind of guy you see walking down the alley? His eyes scan you momentarily, the only facial feature responding in any way to its environment? The kind of guy you stand a bit taller in the face of despite his slouch, to show the woman you’re walking with there’s a protector on the scene? Well, if you stopped and took the time to get to know me…
…you’d have even less answers than before.
I was born David Stanley Carr, and I’ll seek no amendment to that. A handle is made for the handler, not the case. It is my interpretation that any identity dependent on acceptance is an affectation. We are who we are.
My earliest memories pretty much all revolve around video games or pop culture in some respect or another. The very earliest I refer to as my “chipmunk dream”, where Chip and Dale say goodbye to a departing friend they’ll never see again. I arose wailing in my crib, inconsolable. My grandparents were absolutely bewildered.
Then one of the first things that jump out is playing Zaxxon at my pseudo-cousin Melanie’s. I was so enamored of video gaming that my mother got me a pinball machine for my next birthday, as in her eyes at the time they were essentially the same thing. I was very excited initially, but I think mom was disappointed at the quick drop off in play. Then one night while she and her beau dragged me to a dinner party, I discovered The Legend of Zelda in their friend’s basement, which was a fair approximation of a dungeon to my young mind. A perfect moment? Yeah, nearly.
I got my own first console as a distraction from my stepfather when my mother had an aneurysm. I was all of 5, and of course completely bewildered. I was plunked down before a flickering screen and told to go to town on the first Super Mario brothers game, for the 8 bit Nintendo Entertainment System. While I don’t recall connecting to the story in any particular way that first day, the improvement through repetition somehow functioned as its own reward until I could. The library began to grow.
The game changer, for me, was Chrono Trigger. I hooked my stereo up to my tv, and showed it off to mom and the next stepdad, touting video game music as better than most pop of the day. I’m relatively sure the SNES was a Christmas gift, but those years aren’t recalled as clearly as the previous. Emotional content plays a large part.
Eventually my mother’s relationship with that guy went stale, and she decided to leave me with him. Predictably enough I was on the street not too long after that.
I made friends with a down and out couple named Tracy and Brian, some of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. They took me in, offered me a base from which to start rebuilding. Dad financed a shot at Herzing Institute of Computer Programming, and I was one question shy of acing the entrance exam.
A few weeks later I got hit by the taxi.
A knock on the door distracted me and Tracy from some discussion or other one fateful night. A friendly stranger told us that Brian had tried to slide down the banister at the 24 hour grocery story and broken his leg pretty badly. They kindly gave us a lift over, Tracy got in the ambulance with him, and I started walking to the hospital. I was obviously distracted. I didn’t make it.
I awoke to a catheter, breathing tubes, whole nine. I tried to yank the catheter. Note in case it ever comes up; *DO NOT DO THAT*.
24 hour coma. Two skull cracks. Two lesions on the brain, left frontal. Shattered sinuses. I was months in just basic recovery, first at my mother’s apartment, then back at the house she’d initially left me at. My province of Quebec pays out somewhat to victims of road trauma without resorting to litigation; my first cheque brought a PS1, and Gran Turismo. Only real racing game I could ever stomach, and I only half-jokingly credit being half-brained when I “met” it. It got me through the first stage, until I could read with some basic cadence again. Then I think FF7 grabbed my attention and didn’t let go. Wow. What a game.
I financed an apartment for myself and three gamer friends upon leaving mom’s. We rolled dice, we gathered around the console… Hell, we’d go out and LARP werewolf if the mood was right. Of course there were other activities we engaged in that I give partial credit to for my level of recovery, but this is a story about gaming, and gaming gets a large slice too.
The doctors had missed two very important things; a contrecoup injury to my right temporal lobe (which in hindsight must have been the source of my seizure while in the coma, and the two I experienced subsequently) and some rather severe post traumatic stress. Wasn’t the first time I’d been thrown by a big metal bull; Christmas Eve 1992 my whole family got hit by a drunk driver while we took a second sleigh ride around the block, minutes from midnight.
I did some time around 2001 or so, for having been busted with 1900 marijuana plants, of which I think 1200 survived til the trial. If they hadn’t transferred me to the easy going wing with the N64 I don’t think I’d have survived until my appeal came through, two and a half months into a sixteen (?) month sentence.
In the intervening years my mind has changed significantly, to the point that at least four psychotic periods can be identified. The centrally affected mechanic, my going from staunch 18 year old atheist to being personally tapped in my own experience, is not in the large an easy or enjoyable process. I’m the third David down from a stranger who showed up in Newfoundland by the name of Absolom Purchase, as best I can reconstruct. The pun on my distaff line is even cruder. While I cannot deny my perceptions… what exactly am I supposed to do about that? I keep playing. I stay distracted. I try not to think about it, unless I’m so high the honor seems more profound than the burden is heavy, and considering the state of the world today? There’s not enough weed in it.
Game stories held my fading attention. Game mechanics exercised my traumatized brain. Games damned near resurrected me. All my friends, I connect to through games. And do you know why I’m not out there forcing MY agenda down YOUR throat?
The sprites WANT my help. That’s why.
(PS; Patent US#6630507. Tell your friends.)